On Thursday, a Hainan Airlines flight landed in Israel’s Ben Gurion Airport, marking the first commercial Chinese flight to Israel.
The plane’s arrival was welcomed by state ceremony at the airport, with Tourism Minister Yariv Levin (Likud) and Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz (Likud) in attendance.
After the welcoming ceremony, Katz spoke to reporters, calling the flight “historic” and a sign of deepening ties between Israel and the world’s most populous nation.
“That’s it, it’s finally happened. The wings of history – the first Chinese plane lands in Israel. I was there, along with Tourism Minister Yariv Levin to receive the new arrivals.”
“Ben Gurion dreamed about strengthening ties. Shamir laid [the foundation] of our relations [with China] and Netanyahu expanded and strengthened the economic ties between our two countries.”
“I’m happy to have contributed as Transportation Minister to the integration of Chinese [investors] in important Israeli industrial projects and the opening of regular [direct] flights [between Israel and China], that has an enormous potential to strengthen the economic and cultural ties between our countries.”